In early June, the USDA Forest Service, National Forests in Florida released the 2012 Florida National Scenic Trail Strategic Plan. This planning document is the first guidance document for the future of the Florida Trail since the trail’s original inception as a National Scenic Trail in 1986.
Archives for July 2012
One of the absolute truths of a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail is that it is not recreation. It’s a job, filled with repetitive tasks. Find and purify water. Fix meals. Determine how far the feet and knees can handle. Plan town stops. Put up and take down tent. Roll out sleeping bags. Inflate and […]
“At least one out of every four days,” said Ginny, “It’s going to rain.” Somehow it’s felt like more than that. Waking up to the latest downpour – which our sheltermates had no interest in sharing with us – I did the math. In our 46 days on the trail (as of when I wrote […]
Wishing you a very happy Fourth of July and hoping you’re enjoying it outdoors! This is at the Overmountain Shelter in North Carolina, along a route Colonial patriots marched 170 miles to roust the British at King’s Mountain. For them, it wasn’t just a walk in the woods: it was freedom.
Stopped at the side of the highway as our tour bus waited at a restroom, I could see a distant cluster of towers on the mountain to the west. “Hey, that’s Pen Mar!” We’re visiting Gettysburg on foot, led here by a deepening interest in the Civil War history we’ve discovered along the Appalachian Trail, […]
Diving into the tent the night before as a violent thunderstorm met us head-on atop Cove Mountain, we ate little, instead huddling on a single air mattress as the storm raged around us. Stepping over downed limbs as we picked our way down a portion of the trail that the guidebook called out as “especially […]
Before we left for the AT, I gave John a few pieces of gear to test for us, which were sent along for my inspection by the manufacturer. Here’s one that we used while backpacking in Florida but it didn’t make the cut for our AT hike – we stuck with headlamps instead. For our […]
It was a given my shoes would fail. I’ve been hiking in New Balance running shoes for a decade – men’s size 9D, my feet shaped like bricks with no arches to speak of – and each pair normally lasted me about 350 miles. In Florida, sand means erosive destruction of the heel and toebox. […]
We get pretty creative on the trail, trying to make one-pot meals more interesting. It took two months before I figured out how to make pasta with tomato sauce and cheese “as good as home.” We’ve met hikers who use soup mix with noodles, or crush Doritos into their ramen noodles for flavor. We learned […]
A 7.3-mile round-trip trail to the St. Johns River, the Pine Island Trail at Blue Spring State Park traverses both upland and river edge habitat.